Things to do on Mother's Day in London

We solve all your dilemmas with our winning Mother's Day ideas

© Michelle Grant

If you're organising Mother's Day (Sunday March 15 2015) in the capital this year, be sure to include one of these mum-friendly events in your plans. From an Alexander McQueen retrospecitve to a Shoreditch craft market, a technology talk to a crime and forensics exhibitions, there's something to please all types of mother.

Ten fail-safe ideas for Mother's Day


Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

Savage Beauty, the first retrospective of Alexander McQueen’s extraordinary creative talent, comes home to London after a triumphant run at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. The most popular fashion exhibition in history, it’s the first retrospective of the work of the late designer, who was known for catwalk collections that were dramatic, dark and always boundary-pushing. Spanning his MA graduate collection to his unfinished AW 2010 collection, Savage Beauty is the hottest fashion ticket of 2015, so get booked in now.

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V&A Saturday March 14 2015 - Sunday July 19 2015

Marlene Dumas: The Image as Burden

Enter a Marlene Dumas exhibition and you never know who you might meet. Among the subjects of the South Africa-born, Amsterdam-based painter’s work over the past few years are Jesus, Princess Diana, Phil Spector, Amy Winehouse and Osama bin Laden. Dumas is the painter-doyenne of dark undercurrents, tragic lives and falls from grace. ‘I have always been interested in how you can depict suffering without being heavy-handed,' she told us when we spoke in 2011. Dumas avoids heavy-handedness with a free-flowing style and wraith-like portraits that seem to float like apparitions. Despite being among the world’s most prominent painters, the sixty-something artist is not well known in the UK. This retrospective looks set to change that. Big time. 

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Tate Modern Until Sunday May 10 2015

Women Fashion Power

Whether it's shoulder pads, twinsets or a dress made of meat, what a women wears is one of her most complex forms of self-expression. Influential women throughout history have used fashion to their advantage. This exhibition looks at the wardrobes of 25 exceptional women, who've made their names in politics, culture, business and fashion, with each of them contributing an outfit. The women featured include Dame Vivienne Westwood, Kirsty Wark, Joan Burnstein and Pearl Lam, with highlight outfits including an Yves Saint Laurent 'Le Smoking' suit, one of Zandra Rhodes' 'Conceptual Chic' punk wedding dresses, one of Thatcher's suits and a dress by Jacques Azagury that was worn by Princess Diana. The clothes will be supported by photographs, archive film and interviews. Visitors will also be able to explore an immersive visual timeline documenting the last 150 years of feminine fashion trends.

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Design Museum Until Sunday April 26 2015


What does the future really hold for us? We're still holding out for tubes that fling us across town like they have in 'Futurama', but even if pipes aren't in the pipeline there are lots of advances to get excited about, and they'll all be explored on the line-up at this two-day festival of innovation. Expect discussions on the future of democracy, the security and technological changes behind the way we now use money and the effects of robots on the working world. More hands-on experiences include the chance to try technology which transmits sensory experiences over the internet, and a virtual reality thrill ride that transmits you through your own psychedelic landscape. Booking recommended.

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Vinopolis Saturday March 14 2015 - Sunday March 15 2015

Columbia Road Flower Market

One of London’s most visually appealing markets, Columbia Road overflows with bucketfuls of beautiful flowers every Sunday. There are bulbs, herbs, shrubs and bedding plants too. Alongside the Sunday market you’ll find a host of independent galleries and shops selling pottery, perfume and the like – many of them are only open at the weekends, and they often shut up shop with the market at 3pm. Turn up as things start to wind down at around 2pm for the best bargains, or as early as humanly possible if you want to guarantee yourself the pick of the crop.

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Columbia Road Flower Market Until Sunday November 6 2022

Guy Bourdin: Image Maker

Provocative, surreal and instantly recognisable: the work of Guy Bourdin marks a high point in twentieth century fashion photography, turning editorial and advertising imagery into something rich and strange. Guy Bourdin: Image Maker is the UK’s largest ever exhibition of his work, charting his 40 year career from protégé of Man Ray to photography revolutionary. Over 100 colour exhibition prints, as well as early and late works in black and white, will be on display, along with Polaroid test shots, contact sheets and transparencies.

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Somerset House Until Sunday March 15 2015

Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime

Our picture may be somewhat skewed as a result of compulsive viewing of various TV crime series but, every which way you carefully inspect it, forensics is a damn cool use of science. This exhibition of original evidence, archival material, photographs, film footage, specimens, forensic implements and artworks will look at the history, art and science of forensic medicine. Exploring the area where law and medicine cross over, it promises to reveal the truth behind some of the myths perpetuated by crime dramas. 'Forensics' will be the first major exhibition at the Wellcome Collection since its £17.5 million development.

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Wellcome Collection Until Sunday June 21 2015 Free

Fashion on the Ration: 1940s Street Style

Rationing didn't only mean a dowdy dinner table – World War II's austerity measures affected clothing too, leaving the British public to adapt their fashions accordingly. Clearly the make-do-and-mend attitude was especially effective when it came to what to wear, for the results were more casual styles and some ingenious renovating and recycling. This exhibition of accessories, photographs, film, artworks, interviews and clothing provides insight into the home lives of men and women during wartime Britain, showing their sense of identity and the ways in which they coped with having their home comforts restricted. The displays include key pieces of uniform from the men's and women's services, items from the utility fashion ranges introduced in 1941 to provide fairness in fashion and examples of marketing ingenuity on the part of wartime retailers, such as as gas mask handbags and luminous blackout buttons.

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Imperial War Museum Thursday March 5 2015 - Monday August 31 2015

Sunday UpMarket

Vying for attention in the market heavy Brick Lane, though frankly the biggest draw by far, is the Sunday UpMarket in the Old Truman Brewery. Here, you’ll find a buzzing mishmash of mopey students, bona fide locals and edgy attention seekers riffling through vintage stalls, quirky crafts by up-and-coming designers and stacks of old vinyl. If it all gets too much, artisan food stalls offer everything from dainty cupcakes to rich Ethiopian coffee, Japanese yakisoba, tapas and dim sum – a few of the stall-owners have lounging areas for customers too or kick back on a stoop in the Brewery’s adjacent outdoor space.

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Sunday UpMarket Until Sunday July 5 2020

Grayson Perry: Who Are You?

The cross-dressing ceramist presents a show of 14 portraits. Coinciding with the screening of his Channel 4 ‘Who Are You?’ series, in which Perry turns his attention to portraiture and identity, this display brings together some of the individuals Perry met during the filming including politician Chris Huhne and 'X Factor' contestant Rylan Clark as well as a new self-portrait. Varying from tapestries to pots, the Turner Prize-winning artist captures his sitter’s individuality at poignant moments in their lives when they are questioning who they are.

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National Portrait Gallery Until Sunday March 15 2015 Free
See our guide to Mother's Day in London



Shocked by you view of mothers and therefore woman in general.  flowers, tea and homeware. really!??????


what happens if you dont have that much money. you carnt just go to london for free.

Ley Holloway
Ley Holloway

Old fashioned view of Mum, I'm a Mum and Grandma, my choice would have been the Ice Age art exhibition at the British Museum.